Interview with Lindsay Delagair

What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest novel is Kingdom Hill. It's a bit ironic that it was actually one of the first story ideas I had over 25 years ago. I still recall being out in my yard on a beautiful, sunny, Florida day, mowing my lawn (with a push mower!). The story of Kingdom Hill unfolded almost entirely in that hour that I was working in the yard. At the time, I had also been thinking about the storyline for Heart of the Diamond. I didn't feel I had enough skill to tackle something as complex as Kingdom Hill, so I put it on the proverbial back-burner then started Heart of the Diamond.

About fifteen years later, I wrote a few pages on Kingdom Hill so that I wouldn't forget the story line. Another ten years go by. What was it that FINALLY spurred me to write the story I'd thought about for decades? Well, I met my main character!

I work in a high school. In 2009, a new teacher named Adam started at our school. He intrigued me. After repairing his personal computer, I told him he now had to pay the price for my services. Since we hadn't discussed how much I was going to charge, he looked worried. I told him to hold on to his wallet because all I wanted was his life story. As I suspected, he was fascinating.

I asked him if I could use bits and pieces from his life for a character in one of my novels. He was thrilled. What I loved about using him for the character of AJ was the depth he brought. AJ is as pivotal to the story of Kingdom Hill as is my female heroine, Cass. It was no problem for me to give Cass layers and layers of life, but now I had a male counterpart who was equally deep.

It was still complicated to write because it encompassed two stories wrapped in one novel, but there was no holding back at this point. Thanks to my new inspiration, the story that slept in my imagination for a quarter of a century, bloomed to life in an amazingly short amount of time. It was written, in its entirety, in about six or seven weeks.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Frustration. Yeah, that had to be the main reason. I tried the traditional route, went to writer's conferences, honed my craft, studied the art of writing book proposals and query letters, etc. I'd hoped that it truly wasn't a 'it's who you know' business as I had heard most of my life, but (sadly) it is. Yes, there are those who make the sensational unknown-to-superstar leap like J.K. Rowling, but they are only a tiny fraction of a percentage point when compared to the hundreds of thousands of those who have great stories to tell but are never given the chance.

And, I also have to say the less-than-snails-pace at which the traditional publishers move is MADDENING! Case in point: I had a manuscript that a huge publishing company in New York was interested in. I was beside myself with excitement when I receive the letter stating they were considering my work for publication. They said it might take six months for them to make an official decision. Six months later, I inquired as to the status of my manuscript. They needed another six months. I couldn't believe it, but I said sure! At the end of that time period, I contacted them again. They hadn't gotten to it yet, and said it might take another year. I could have died! They had already told me if they did accept it it would take another two years before they published it because they were just that far behind.

Two years passed with my manuscript in their hands...before they rejected it. When the manuscript was returned to me (because I had given them a self-addressed return envelope two years earlier), judging from its condition, I was pretty certain they never read it. I was SO angry.

The weekend after it was returned to me (yes, I mean literally days after getting it back), I had it published and on the market. I have absolutely no interest in using a traditional publisher...ever! Go indie. You will save yourself headache, heartache, and frustration. Traditional publishers have played God with the written word too long. I'd rather let readers decide what they enjoy. And, as a bonus, I'm making great money as an Indie, far better than the pitiful ten to twelve percent offered by the traditional houses.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
There aren't enough praises for Smashwords!! I recall when I first began Indie publishing and heard the name Smashwords. I thought the name was weird, but it didn't stop me from checking out the site. Once on the site, I was determined to discover where 'the catch' was...because so far in my search to self-publishing it seemed everyone wanted to put their hand in my pocket.

I decided to publish a short story as a test. When the message popped up that said I really needed to download the style guide, I thought, "Yup! Here it is. They are going to hit me up for money!" Hmm...the guide turned out to be free. I was amazed! Next was a message that I really needed their marketing guide. Ah-ha! How much will it be? Free? Wow--I think I was in shock at this point. When I came to the ISBN number, they were temporarily out of free ones, but they DISCOURAGED me from spending money to buy an ISBN. So, I waited until I could obtain the free one they offered. I couldn't believe it: I'd found a company that really, truly, and sincerely wanted to help people publish!

It has been a love affair ever since (sorry Mrs. Coker...lol). I have helped launch many people from fan to author by simply sharing with anyone who wrote me and stated, "I love to write, too...but I don't know how to publish." Several of my fans have now surpassed me in book sales and readers. Does that bother me? Absolutely not! I'm happy to see another Indie take a bite out of the traditional houses. Indies are proving every single day that we ARE worth it, our stories ARE worth it, and (most of all) our readers ARE worth it! Viva la Indie!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
As much as I dearly love creating, crafting, and telling a story, I have to say the fans have been the best part. It means so much to a writer to know that someone, somewhere out there is connecting with their characters. I'm a big cry-baby when it comes to praise. I'll admit to bawling my eyes out as positive reviews started rolling in. I did have to learn to toughen-up for the ones that were negative, but that's okay, too. I'm not in the censorship business, and I don't expect to be everyone's cup of tea. As long as the praises far exceed the critical ones, I'm good with it all.
What do your fans mean to you?
They are the reason I write. That pretty much says it all because what good is it if I keep my wonderful characters to myself? If I write the best novel ever to grace a word processing program, but hide it from people, what did I accomplish? I don't want to be a post-humus success. I don't want to be that person who, after they are long gone, people uncover my writing and go, "Wow!" I want to hear from fans, listen to fans, and enjoy making this wonderful connection where both of us know a fictional character...and we both love that character.
What are you working on next?
Currently, I'm working on a modern-day remake of Robin Hood. Once I complete the first book in that series, I'll move on to write the fourth book in the Untouchable series...which was only supposed to be a trilogy, but the fans have spoken; they want one more! LOL
Who are your favorite authors?
This is a tough one because I really don't have particular favorites. I like to grab something up and open it to any spot in the book to see if the writer can suck me in. I admire any author who writes well, writes great dialogue, and can weave a plausible story.

I will say Betina Krahn is someone who can hold my interest very well. I'm a research hound when it comes to books, and I can tell she is the same way. I admire her attention to detail without making you feel as if you need a dictionary, a thesaurus, and an encyclopedia to get through one of her books. Yet, when you're done, you've learned something new.

Another one I enjoy is R.E. Butler. She was someone who sent me a fan letter long ago. I told her how to get started and she ran with it. Erotic, naughty, wonderfully rich stories that leave you fanning yourself and smiling.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Life is an adventure. I know I'll never know what's out there if I don't get up and get moving. Of course, if I'm writing a love scene, the bed isn't a half bad place to be... ;)
What is your writing process?
I know the beginning, the ending, and a general plot, but everything that happens as I write is like breathing life into lifelessness; characters truly come into being with personalities and stories that I don't know until I start working with them. Many, many times I find myself surprised by my characters. In the beginning of Kingdom Hill, my character Cass slugs a man for calling her Cassie. As soon as I had him call her that, I knew her reaction was going to be to hit him, but it wasn't until after she hit him that I realized the story behind why she hated the name Cassie. I haven't written anything to date where my characters don't surprise me in multiple ways.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
When I was 12 or 13 years old, I had a neighbor who was a romance fanatic. She would buy several a week to read. When she finished a novel, she would cut off the cover and tack it to her wall...her wall was covered in covers! One day she offered me one of her prized novels to read (before she'd cut the cover off). It was my first exposure to romance. I loved it! My first thought upon completing the book was, "I can write stories like this." I immediately began writing my first romance. I didn't get beyond several pages simply because I didn't own a typewriter, so it was all longhand. I gave up on the idea and threw away the story. All I can say today is thank God someone invented the computer...I couldn't do it without one.
Describe your desk
I'm a bit of a split personality. Some days my desk looks like the aftermath of a tsunami, other times I'm such a neat-freak extraordinaire that I can't write until the desk AND the house are both clean. It all depends on my mood, but I lean toward tsunami more often than I'd like.
Published 2014-04-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Kingdom Hill
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 128,680. Language: English. Published: September 18, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(5.00)
When Cass Henley’s company wins the bid to survey the UK, she finds an unusual hill in Scotland. She plans to explore it alone, until AJ, a writer for National Geographic, joins her team. They discover a buried castle and the tragic story of its ending. Cass is falling for AJ, but when he reveals a secret that has ended every romantic relationship he's ever had, will she be like all the rest?
Untraceable
Series: Untouchable, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 126,810. Language: English. Published: July 10, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult
(5.00)
The final book in the Untouchable trilogy winds through a tangled web of shattered lives, the pursuit of power, and the unfailing strength of love. When tragedy strikes, Micah must decide if he should keep his promise to his wife, or should he pursue those responsible. Especially when he realizes it involves the most feared man in the U.S. mafia, a man who can anyone...Untraceable.
Unforgivable
Series: Untouchable, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 133,130. Language: English. Published: March 10, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult
Annalisa has a chance to share forever with Micah, but fears something will destroy their happiness. He changed everything, leaving his past far behind as they begin to see a bright and beautiful future. Unfortunately, someone in the mob isn't willing to let go of their best hitman. Book 2 in the Untouchable trilogy is a journey of love and sacrifice, but what happens should be Unforgivable
Untouchable
Series: Untouchable, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 113,120. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General
(5.00)
Picking a boyfriend can be murder, but for Annalisa it might end up being the literal death of her. No one at Pensacola High suspects the girl they know to be a wealthy heiress in hiding, but things begin to unravel when two new guys enroll. Both are gorgeous, and both are trying to win her over. The only problem is that one of them has a million dollar contract to put a bullet in her.
Heart of the Diamond
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 153,270. Language: English. Published: July 17, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Heart of the Diamond is the remarkable story about a young woman who discovers exactly the kind of person she truly is when everything in her life changes. Facing decisions and conflicts that could destroy her reality and her dreams, she digs down to the diamond-hard substance within to show the world that you don’t have to compromise what you believe to win the battles of life.